In this article, we highlight the deck sporting the coolest armor in the Star Wars universe: Boba/Phasma. It may not be a major player in the meta right now, but it is a good and a popular deck. It’s a deck that hits hard and fast, and though it may not be at the level of the very top decks, we believe that with the right cards included it can compete with the big boys. This article will highlight some of those cards, as well as the best strategies for taking the deck to its highest potential.
- Three 2+ damage sides leads to very consistent rolling
- Huge upside on special
- Special can be a blank situationally
- Mixed sides (slows down die resolution)
- All her sides are useful (besides the blank), leading to high consistency
- Special side can be very impactful when it hits for 3
- She uhh… umm…. has no weaknesses? Low health maybe?
- Extremely consistent rolls, with all your dice having 3 damage sides
- Solid middle-middle pairing, and either character is a great finisher
- Relatively low HP
- Mixed damage sides can slow down resolution and leave modifiers hanging
The greatest strength of this deck is the plethora of options for surprise damage. Quick draw and Tactical Mastery allow you to cheat your dice into the pool on a consistent basis, Bait-and-Switch allows you to burst damage where there was none, and you have some sick combo options (which will be highlighted later in the article).
The deck rolls damage very consistently. Both of your characters have 3 damage sides, and the addition of Bait-and-Switch and Throne Room often turn the sides you miss into damage. You rarely have to reroll your dice multiple times to hit damage. This, combined with all the action cheating, means the deck plays lightning fast. It can often stay ahead of even Sabine decks.
Both of the above strengths lead to this last one: the deck is great at getting the first kill. Turn 1 damage is very consistent, and a quick draw turn 2 often leads to the first kill happening before your opponent can do anything. Getting that first kill can be super important in 2 v 2 character matchups, and few decks are as good at getting that kill as Boba/Phasma.
The deck is a bit of a glass cannon. It only has 21 health, and the removal options for Yellow/Red villain are very lackluster. There are some good 0 cost removal options (HDLY, Doubt, Hasty Exit), but there are no super impactful 1 cost options (you don’t get Force Illusion, Easy Pickings, Defensive Position, etc., and The Best Defense is pretty useless if your opponent goes for Phasma). This leaves the deck on a timer – if you can’t kill your opponent fast enough they will kill you.
Ranged weapons are worse than melee weapons. One of the reasons this deck has fallen behind the other Boba deck – Boba/Sister – is that it does not take advantage of Boba’s special as well. Most of the 2 cost ranged weapons don’t have 3+ sides, and the ones that do have pay sides (X-8), which are difficult to use in this deck. As a result of the mediocre weapon suite, the damage upside is lower than some of the other top decks. The lack of highly impactful 2 cost upgrades is, IMO, the biggest reason why ranged damage decks are generally worse than melee decks at the moment. This deck suffers from that discrepancy.
First turn you want to go for max damage – definitely keep FILP and Bait and Switch if you draw into them. You want one of your 2 drop weapons turn one. Any of them is fine to start with, but ideally, you’ll want a Redeploy weapon against an aggro deck, and against a slower deck you’ll want Hidden Blaster or Jetpack (these give you the most turn 1 damage). Lastly, try to make sure you have one of your 0 cost removals (Doubt being the best one for turn 1).
You want to hit them as hard and as fast as you can. Ideally, you want to be in a place where you can set up a round 2 kill off of an action cheat, so round 1 you want to get one of their characters down to 4 or less health if possible. You shouldn’t be super concerned about how much damage they’re doing, as long as you can avoid one of your characters dying round 1.
Round 2 is where you really want to draw into Quick Draw or Tactical Mastery. You want to kill a character first turn if you can. I typically put my early weapons on Phasma, because she has the better roll off of cheats (with 2 base sides to pair with modifiers). The longer it takes you to kill a character, the worse your odds of winning become. Keep in mind that you may not want to play your non redeploy weapons on the targeted character, as you really cannot afford to be paying for weapons later in the game. Overwrite with redeploys if you need to.
This is where you start to try to set up the combo play. Try to survive while building up enough resources to pull off the play. You don’t need to worry as much about maximizing your damage at this point; it’s more important to keep up a blazing pace so that you remain in control of the battlefield. Typically, you can do enough damage without rerolling to put them in range of lethal. You do need to get at least 2 upgrades on your remaining character at this point, and if you can get to 3 that is ideal. Hold on to your Quick Draw and Swiftness if you can, until their remaining character gets into killing range.
Your action cheats become very powerful again at this point in the game, as they may allow you to close out with a surprise kill. Do everything you can to draw into Swiftness/We Have Them Now and/or Quick Draw/Ambush weapon, and use this to close off the game. If you are playing with Scorched Earth, now is the best time for this as well. If you can’t finish them off, just try to survive; even if they get you to 1 health, you often only need 1-2 turns next round to finish them. Continue to make sure you stay ahead of your opponent so that you can play your control the battlefield cards. If you are playing on Throne Room, be aware of when you can open up a claim for the win possibility – this can put your opponent in a very difficult situation.
Play fast. The deck contains a lot of cards that require battlefield control, so falling behind your opponent can leave you in a bad place.
Maximize specials. Both Boba and Phasma have specials that can do a lot of damage. Try to maximize these sides when you can – for example, waiting to use a Phasma special until you can get a character to 6 damage (though don’t waste too much time being cute about it; you still need to claim fast).
Take your battlefield. This isn’t true in every scenario, but generally speaking it is a good idea to take Throne Room. It increases your damage output and your speed throughout the game.
Just keep them in range. The deck has a lot of options for fast, explosive damage late in the game. If you can just keep them within range of lethal, you can pull off a late game comeback.
As with any match-up that can threaten high damage on turn one, you need to mulligan for removal. Especially since Boba Phasma has access to FILP you’ll want to have at least 2 control options. Any sort of speed cards can be nice as well. Force Speeds, Impulsive, or perhaps even Hit and Run, depending on the deck. Boba Phasma can struggle to roll what it needs at times, and if you can sneak in the claim ahead of them it can reduce their round one damage by 3. If you can deny the claim on turn one, it’ll be much easier to keep your characters alive through round 2.
Your biggest goal in the early game against Boba Phasma is to keep the character they’re targeting off of 6 damage, and the bonus damage that will come from Phasma. Sequencing of actions is quite strange as well. You can either go as fast as you can to deny them the claim (particularly if you have specials to claim for), or you can just try to max out your own value. If you can deal high amounts of damage yourself (or if you’re not on Throne Room), then maxing out your own value is usually better than trying to deny the claim. That being said, Boba Phasma’s game plan is to get the first kill early round 2, and it will be especially easy for them if they can take the first action. Additionally, Hasty Exit and Dug In are some of their best control options, so by claiming round one you can both raise your damage round 2, and have a better chance at keeping them from the early kill. As far as who to kill first, it’s a toss up. I’d say that if your deck can show high sides, then killing Boba is probably worth it. However, Phasma’s special is more reliable, she synergizes with the ranged upgrades better, and has less health, so she may be a better first target if you’re not scared of Boba special.
Typically as you come to mid game you’ll have traded characters with the deck. While it punched you hard, it’s defense wasn’t enough to keep you from killing one of their own as well. The advice is much the same as early game. If you think you have a chance at getting the kill, go for it. Otherwise, go for an early claim if you can afford to. (If they have Boba, they’ll have 3 different damage types, if Phasma, they still have 2, so going faster isn’t an impossibility). As stated earlier, this will reduce their control options, and you’ll probably be able to kill them next turn.
It’s a strange game where you end up somehow getting to late game against Boba Phasma without them killing you, or you killing them. In any case, your removal will likely be better, so you should be able to beat them with the extra resources afforded you in late game destiny. All you need to do is survive, and when you get the chance to do damage of your own, they won’t have the control necessary to survive. The biggest concern here is that they’ll be able to roll out and claim for an auto kill, so shields, health gain, and damage prevention are good.
Be aware of the potential Quick Draw plays. If the Boba activates and rolls a ranged or special side, you need to remove those dice even if your character has 6 hp left. With a Quick Draw play on Phasma, they just need to roll a few more ranged damage or a special and they can resolve immediately together with the Boba dice for the potential kill.
Play around the battlefield, especially if it’s Throne Room. Be aware of the 2-3 damage claim, and the benefits it will give them in their next turn removal wise.
Not everyone is as crazy as my brother, but you should probably keep in mind that at any point if they have an abundance of resources and control of the battlefield, the Swiftness -> We Have Them Now play will lose you the game, so if you have counter play options, consider using them (Force Illusion, resource / hand control, etc.).
Swiftness / We Have Them Now
Ever since Jon finally convinced me that Swiftness/Concentrate was the way to go in Qui-Gon/Kanan, I have been on the lookout for other decks that can utilize Swiftness in a similar fashion. This deck ends up being a perfect choice. The limit of 4 dice on We Have Them Now is essentially not a limit, as you are unlikely to need to turn that many dice. It ends up being an automatic 8-10 damage in most games, and gives the deck incredible comeback potential – you just need to be in range going into the last round to be in a great spot. I have had many games where I go into the last round behind 6-7 damage, yet know I am almost guaranteed to win. I highly recommend using this combo if you are playing Boba/Phasma.
Some advice on playing with the combo:
- Claim extremely aggressively, especially if you expect to draw into the combo on the next turn. We Have Them Now does require that you have the battlefield, and it is a terrible feeling when you have everything you need to play the combo, but can’t because you didn’t claim early enough last round.
- Once you get into mid/late game, try to put yourself at 3 resources going into turns, so that you can play the combo if you draw into it.
- Keep in mind that you can use both cards in other ways as well. We Have Them Now is quite effective in combination with FILP – if you know they have no removal left you are good to go. Swiftness can also be used in combination with Quick Draw or Tactical Mastery to give you an additional action, and one of my favorite combos is to use it with FILP, so that you can hit their removal and roll into the pool in the same turn (which can be a critical tempo piece late game).
New Orders / Scorched Earth
If you are uncomfortable playing the combo pieces, and are looking for a different way to surprise your opponent mid/late game, look no further. Both of these cards, New Orders and Scorched Earth, are very effective in this deck. Both characters in this deck have powerful specials that can be used off of a New Orders, and additionally, switching the battlefield can give you a nice boost in tempo and damage, as the deck plays faster and does more damage when you can claim for specials. The biggest downside to this card is that it’s effect is blank if you start on your own battlefield; keep that in mind when you get to decide the starting battlefield. Scorched Earth, similar to We Have Them Now, offers a good late game damage burst that can help close a gap if you have fallen behind. Typically, you are using this card in a 1 on 1 late game situation, where it will hit for 4-5 damage. This is a great finisher, and will often come as a surprise to your opponent. Keep in mind that this also requires battlefield control, so if you are playing with this card you will want to be sure to claim aggressively.
Phasma’s Blaster / Jetpack / Kallus’ Bo Rifle
A couple options for the flex 1-2 upgrade slots (after the ambush weapon suite). Here are the pros and cons of all 3:
- Phasma’s Blaster has high sides to go with Boba specials, and has the Redeploy keyword while on Phasma, which can be critical when you are trying to save up resources for combo plays. The biggest downside is that it costs 3, in a deck that has a very tight resource curve, and no special to use on Throne Room. This is probably the safest choice to fill that last weapon slot.
- Jetpack has some high sides to use with Boba specials, as well as having some underrated defensive sides. It only costs 2, which means it fits the resource curve of the deck better than the other two weapons. In a melee heavy meta, claiming for the special can be very strong (particularly against Maul’s Saber!). The +3 can also be a big deal when using We Have Them Now, as most of your upgrades lack 3 sides for free. The downsides of this card are that it has no base damage sides, lacks redeploy, and, because it is not a weapon, cannot be used in combination with Quick Draw.
- Kallus’ Bo Rifle has some beastly sides to use with Boba (including a 4!), and has a resource side to use with Bait-and-Switch. It has the ambush keyword, which means this is an additional weapon you can use with Quick Draw to action cheat. The downsides are that it has no redeploy and only 1 base side – with Phasma closing it can be particularly hard to match the modifiers. The +4 is also difficult to use with We Have Them Now, because of the resource cost. I would only recommend using this card if you expect your opponents to be going for Phasma first, as it’s primary benefit is in increasing Boba specials.
Big little decks like Sabine/Ezra or Obi/Maz are easy pickings for this deck ;). You can typically kill their big character by turn 2, or the beginning of turn 3 at the latest, and they are unlikely to be able to weather this. Even if they kill your character first, it is not too hard to close out the game, as long as you kill their Big shortly after. Boba/Phasma very rarely loses to these decks in my experience.
High HP (Hero Mill, Hero Vehicles):
Hero Vehicles is the most difficult matchup for this deck, IMO. Getting the first kill means nothing to them, as they have the health to weather the storm and don’t lose any upgrades. Your removal suite is just not good enough to deal with a fleet of vehicles, while their removal suite (Easy Pickings, Into the Garbage Chute), is devastating if they can get it off. Unlike decks such as Sabine or Boba/Sister, your damage potential does not increase dramatically as the game goes on, so the deck cannot take big advantage of the slow start for vehicles. The only thing you have going for you is that Boba specials can be deadly against vehicles. Try to make them pay with those if you can (especially if they get out a Resistance Bomber).
Why should you play this deck? This deck is the quintessential aggro deck. It hits hard and fast, and has a plethora of surprise damage up its sleeve. It’s great at getting the first kill, and it’s great at getting the last kill in a close game. Both of these traits mean the deck shines in a meta full of 2 character decks. And with the rise in popularity of decks like Boba/Sister and Rey/Aayla, it may be a good time to pull out this deck.
Why shouldn’t you play this deck? It lacks access to good blowout removal cards, leaving you with less room for error than other decks – if you miss your damage early game you could be in trouble. Decks that have a high health pool and good blowout removal options are difficult for this deck to handle, as the early damage bursts are less consistent and less impactful. If you expect to face a lot of vehicle decks, this deck may not be a great choice.